Mercedes has released the first set of images and details regarding the next-generation GLE SUV, which will be shown to the public for the first time at the upcoming 2018 Paris motor show.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will introduce two important new technologies to the Mercedes brand: an advanced suspension system, surpassing even that found on the flagship S-class, and a plug-in hybrid variant with a “particularly long range”, said to offer over 80km of electric-only travel.
Other engine options in some international markets include an inline six-cylinder petrol engine and a 48V motor, the same unit as seen as in the new CLS, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel. All will use a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The GLE 450 4Matic will produce 367hp, with a further 22hp available for short periods via EQ Boost, which uses the 48V system. Information on the GLE 300d is not yet confirmed.
Mercedes claims the GLE’s 4Matic all-wheel drive “ensures great agility on road and superior performance off the beaten track”. The system controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0 percent to 100 percent, depending on the driving mode. The optional off-road package has fully variable all-wheel drive with low and high range available; a feature that Mercedes says is a world-first.
The new suspension system is a more advanced version of the Magic Body Control found on the S-class. Also claimed to be a first-of-its-kind, the spring and damping forces are individually controlled at each wheel, counteracting not only body roll but also pitch and squat.
The GLE uses the carmaker’s MHA (Modular High Architecture) platform. which is heavily related to the MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform that underpins the C-class, E-Ccass and the S-class. However, the MHA has been created to ensure a high ground clearance for SUVs.
The SUV has more space than its predecessor, with a considerably longer wheelbase at 2,995mm, an increase of 80mm, which means second-row leg room is increased by 69mm to 1,045mm. The second row of seats are electronically, fully-adjustable and are controlled by a switch in the door panel. The GLE is also offered for the first time with the option of a third row, adding two extra seats.
The interior includes two 12.3-inch digital displays as standard, like the one that debuted in the new A-class sold abroad. There is a multi-function steering wheel with touch panels and a larger touchpad in the centre console, which replaces the rotary dial on the outgoing GLE.
The instruments and infotainment system can be operated via the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) interface that supports conversational speech and information gathering via the Mercedes Me app.
The GLE also introduces the latest generation of Mercedes’ driving assistance systems, including Active Tailback Assist, which recognises tailbacks early on and reduces speed to 100kph as a precaution. Once in the tailback, the car can autonomously keep in lane and maintain a safe distance in speeds of up to 60kph.
An AMG GLE 63 variant and GLE Coupé will follow the launch of the standard GLE. Expect Mercedes-Benz to bring the new GLE to India sometime next year.
New Mercedes GLE image gallery